Texas A&M University Department of Biology
  • BS, 1983 SUNY Albany Biology
  • MS, 1987 SUNY Albany Molecular Biology
  • PhD, 1991 SUNY Albany Molecular Biology
  • Postdoctoral Research, Dartmouth Medical School, Biochemistry

Joined the Department in 1997

Associations: Center for Biological Clocks Research, Genetics, Chemical Biology Interface, Program for the Biology of Filamentous Fungi, Program in Microbial Genetics and Genomics, Undergraduate Biology Math Program

Bell-Pedersen Lab Website

Deborah Bell-Pedersen

Deborah Bell-Pedersen
Professor and
Associate Department Head
for Operations

3258 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3258

3258 TAMU
Biological Sciences Building West
Room 210A

Biological Sciences Building West
Room 208-210

Fax: 979-845-2891
Email: dpedersen@bio.tamu.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Circadian Rhythms in the development of spores in the fungus Neurospora crassa

One of the most fascinating aspects of life on earth is that most organisms contain a high-precision clock that allows them to prepare for the opportunities and challenges of sunrise and sunset. Because of the widespread influence of the clock on human biology, defects of the clock are associated with sleep disorders, and for unknown reasons epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, headaches, cardiovascular malfunction, and cancer. In addition, daily changes in metabolism and cell division rates influence the efficacy and toxicity of many pharmaceuticals, including cancer drugs. Therefore, knowing how clocks work and what they regulate at the molecular level is important for the development of new ways to improve human health.

To understand the clock, Dr. Bell-Pedersen’s lab uses modern molecular, biochemical, genetic, and genomic tools to investigate the mechanisms by which the clock regulates rhythmicity in the simple model organism Neurospora crassa. Her group discovered that the clock regulates a major signaling pathway in fungi. This same signaling pathway is present in humans and involved in stress responses, immune activity, and cancer. This regulation provides a rationale for observations that deregulation of the clock contributes to cancer and suggests new opportunities for treatment.


  1. Hurley JM, Dasgupta A, Emerson JM, Zhou X, Ringelberg CS, Knabe N, Lipzen AM, Lindquist EA, Daum CG, Barry KW, Grigoriev IV, Smith KM, Galagan JE, Bell-Pedersen D, Freitag M, Cheng C, Loros JJ & Dunlap JC (2014) Analysis of clock-regulated genes in Neurospora reveals widespread posttranscriptional control of metabolic potential. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:16995-7002 Full text
  2. Nsa IY, Karunarathna N, Liu X, Huang H, Boetteger B & Bell-Pedersen D (2015) A novel cryptochrome-dependent oscillator in Neurospora crassa. Genetics 199:233-45 Full text
  3. Wu C, Yang F, Smith KM, Peterson M, Dekhang R, Zhang Y, Zucker J, Bredeweg EL, Mallappa C, Zhou X, Lyubetskaya A, Townsend JP, Galagan JE, Freitag M, Dunlap JC, Bell-Pedersen D & Sachs MS (2014) Genome-wide characterization of light-regulated genes in Neurospora crassa. G3 (Bethesda) 4:1731-45 Full text
  4. Goldsmith CS & Bell-Pedersen D (2013) Diverse roles for MAPK signaling in circadian clocks. Adv Genet 84:1-39 Full text
  5. Lamb TM, Vickery J & Bell-Pedersen D (2013) Regulation of gene expression in Neurospora crassa with a copper responsive promoter. G3 (Bethesda) 3:2273-80 Full text
  6. Bennett LD, Beremand P, Thomas TL & Bell-Pedersen D (2013) Circadian activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase MAK-1 facilitates rhythms in clock-controlled genes in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryot Cell 12:59-69 Full text
  7. Lamb TM, Finch KE & Bell-Pedersen D (2012) The Neurospora crassa OS MAPK pathway-activated transcription factor ASL-1 contributes to circadian rhythms in pathway responsive clock-controlled genes. Fungal Genet Biol 49:180-8 Full text
  8. Lamb TM, Goldsmith CS, Bennett L, Finch KE & Bell-Pedersen D (2011) Direct transcriptional control of a p38 MAPK pathway by the circadian clock in Neurospora crassa. PLoS One 6:e27149 Full text
  9. Lakin-Thomas PL, Bell-Pedersen D & Brody S (2011) The genetics of circadian rhythms in Neurospora. Adv Genet 74:55-103 Full text
  10. Smith KM, Sancar G, Dekhang R, Sullivan CM, Li S, Tag AG, Sancar C, Bredeweg EL, Priest HD, McCormick RF, Thomas TL, Carrington JC, Stajich JE, Bell-Pedersen D, Brunner M & Freitag M (2010) Transcription factors in light and circadian clock signaling networks revealed by genomewide mapping of direct targets for neurospora white collar complex. Eukaryot Cell 9:1549-56 Full text

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